Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 7, 2013.

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Why is grammar important?

Dear Backers,

$22,000 is the minimum we need to finish the Grammar Revolution documentary. This fundraising campaign is all or nothing. We have to meet our goal of $22,000 by February 7. Your credit card will only be charged if we reach our goal.

We've already filmed many amazing interviews, but we need your help if we are going to finish filming and do all the work needed to produce, edit, release, and distribute it! Please contribute what you can and share this video with your friends. Thank you for your support!

Most schools today don't teach grammar, and we are quickly becoming a society that doesn’t understand the structure of its own language. Why? 

  • Why is learning another language the first time most of us are introduced to grammar?
  • What happened to grammar education?
  • Is it important to learn grammar?
  • Does studying grammar help with writing?

Everyone has passionate opinions about grammar. Were judgmental (oops, I mean we're) and we're self-conscious. Some of us love the subject. Some of us hate it. Teachers debate whether to teach it and how to teach it. Linguists debate the nature of language change and the nature of grammatical rules. We use grammar every day, so it makes sense that we all seem to regard the subject as important and worthy of debate. 

Grammar Revolution will change the way people think about the subject of grammar. 

The film's mood will be positive, and its theme will be simultaneously simple and eye-opening. We'll explain why grammar is no longer taught in most schools. We'll show that understanding grammar is important and that learning it can be easy. Along the way, we'll also correct misconceptions and address the difficult questions at the heart of today's grammar debates.

We are speaking with teachers, students, authors, linguists, grammarians, and even a few perfect strangers. Here are more questions that we're exploring:

  • What is grammar? What is sentence diagramming? 
  • Does grammar have to be boring? Is it even useful to learn? 
  • Why does language change? What should we think of language change? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it inevitable?
  • Where does the idea of “proper” English grammar come from? Should we call it "Standard English" instead? What is the status of different dialects? 
  • Why are we so self-conscious about the way we talk and the way we write? Why do we judge people by their grammar? Should it affect a person’s job prospects? Does it?
  • What does one’s way of speaking indicate about him – or should we say him/her, or should we say them? Should we just reword that sentence? What does the way we speak say about us?
"You could have the highest IQ, you could be stellar in many areas, but if you can't speak and write correctly, people will automatically assume that you're not bright." - Janice Kopp, Retired Teacher
"You could have the highest IQ, you could be stellar in many areas, but if you can't speak and write correctly, people will automatically assume that you're not bright." - Janice Kopp, Retired Teacher
"Grammar wasn't dreamed up in some dank basement by a SWAT team of English teachers. Grammar evolved naturally with the evolution of the language itself." - C. Edward Good, Owner of www.Grammar.com
"Grammar wasn't dreamed up in some dank basement by a SWAT team of English teachers. Grammar evolved naturally with the evolution of the language itself." - C. Edward Good, Owner of www.Grammar.com
"I was very resentful of grammar. I had no idea that I would come to love it. I can't even believe that I'm saying that right now!" - Lani Sciandra, Montessori Teacher
"I was very resentful of grammar. I had no idea that I would come to love it. I can't even believe that I'm saying that right now!" - Lani Sciandra, Montessori Teacher
"What I'm seeing on a day-to-day basis from people who are otherwise well-educated is that, for some reason, their grammar is just terrible." - Richard T. Bell, Medical Director
"What I'm seeing on a day-to-day basis from people who are otherwise well-educated is that, for some reason, their grammar is just terrible." - Richard T. Bell, Medical Director
"You need to understand grammar in order to read with comprehension." - David Mulroy, Professor & Author
"You need to understand grammar in order to read with comprehension." - David Mulroy, Professor & Author
"There's this disconnect between the criticism that students are getting and the skills that they have because they never got those skills." - Lucy Ferriss, Professor & Author
"There's this disconnect between the criticism that students are getting and the skills that they have because they never got those skills." - Lucy Ferriss, Professor & Author
"As they start seeing how dependent clauses work, my students start seeing things that they hadn't been able to see before." - Candace Barrington, Professor of English
"As they start seeing how dependent clauses work, my students start seeing things that they hadn't been able to see before." - Candace Barrington, Professor of English
"It's important for students to learn Standard English. There's really no excuse for not teaching anybody in society what the code is that is considered socially acceptable." - John McWhorter, Linguist
"It's important for students to learn Standard English. There's really no excuse for not teaching anybody in society what the code is that is considered socially acceptable." - John McWhorter, Linguist
"I realized that science teachers know what molecules are and algebra teachers understand the quadratic equation, and I realized that I needed to know grammar better myself to be able to systematically teach my students." - Rob Olson, English Teacher
"I realized that science teachers know what molecules are and algebra teachers understand the quadratic equation, and I realized that I needed to know grammar better myself to be able to systematically teach my students." - Rob Olson, English Teacher

"Come to dinner with John and me. Most people think it's John and I. Everybody wants to say I...."  - Bethany Luty, Training Developer
"Come to dinner with John and me. Most people think it's John and I. Everybody wants to say I...." - Bethany Luty, Training Developer

We need your help! We can't do this alone.

We've put a lot of our time and money into planning this film and recording a substantial chunk of it in order to present our project to you for your consideration. Without your interest and financial support, however, we can't afford the time and resources needed to continue making it.

Here is a just a small slice of where our Kickstarter funds will go:

  • Shooting additional footage
  • Editing and organizing the raw footage
  • Distribution
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Color correction
  • Sound mixing
  • Storyboarding and planning
  • Legal fees and soundtrack licensing
  • Film festival registration fees
  • Equipment improvements for our second round of recording

This film is going to be amazing, and we can't wait to share it with you. Thank you so much for your support! 

David and Elizabeth 

Do you have a question? Feel free to contact us!

David

  • davidrothobrien@gmail.com

Elizabeth 

P.S. The music in this trailer is by Anders Parker. Thanks, Anders!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our goal is to have this film completed and the rewards delivered by December, 2013, but there are no guarantees. It's difficult to set a specific delivery date since we are still in the middle of filming. The filmmaking process involves many people and many stages, and this is our first time through this process. We are lucky, however, to be friends with experienced filmmakers who will be helping us along the way!

Scheduling additional interviews, attending film festivals, and securing legal contracts are among the complicated tasks that make it difficult to know exactly when we'll be done.

We are familiar with creating and shipping products because it's something that we do through the Grammar Revolution educational website. Sometimes the processes of printing and shipping take longer than anticipated. We have done our best to estimate a deadline that gives plenty of extra time for these kinds of problems, but this is another potential issue that could delay delivery of the rewards.

We will do our best to meet this deadline, and we promise to update you on our progress and on any delays that come our way.

Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    NAME IN THE CREDITS -- Thank you! Your name will go in the credits. If you don't want to be in the spotlight, just let us know.

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD + NAME IN CREDITS -- Your name will go in the credits, and you'll get a digital download of the film.

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    PHYSICAL DVD + DIGITAL DOWNLOAD + NAME IN CREDITS -- You'll receive a physical DVD of the documentary, your name will go in the credits, and you'll get a digital download of the film.

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    BUMPER STICKER and all of the above -- Shamelessly display your love of grammar with this fun bumper sticker. Your name will go in the credits, you'll get a digital download of the film, and you'll receive a physical DVD of the documentary shipped to your home. Awesome!

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    A SIGNED DVD and online access to BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOTAGE -- You also get the digital download, the bumper sticker, and your name in the credits. Sweet!

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    5 GRAMMAR GREETING CARDS -- These fun greeting cards will be perfect for the language lovers in your life. You'll also get all of the above.

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    5 DVDs -- Share the movie with your friends and family! You'll also get your name in the credits, a digital download of the film, a bumper sticker, and five grammar greeting cards.

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    10 DVDs + 10 GRAMMAR GREETING CARDS -- Share the movie with your friends and family. You'll also get your name in the credits, a digital download of the film, and a bumper sticker.

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    SKYPE SESSION -- You get a personalized Skype call with David and Elizabeth. We can talk about grammar, making movies, or anything else you'd like to chat about. You also get your name in the credits, ten DVDs, a digital download, a bumper sticker and ten greeting cards.

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    LIVE PRESENTATION + EXECUTIVE PRODUCER -- This can be as formal or informal as you'd like. We will travel to your business or home, watch the video that you helped create, and speak to your organization or group. You'll also be listed in the film's credits as an Executive Producer, and you'll receive all of the above.

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